Tuesday, December 20, 2005
To Eat or Not to Eat
Everyone was staring solemnly at the Tree when Aslan suddenly swung round his head (scattering golden gleams of light from his mane as he did so) and fixed his large eyes on the children. "What is it, children?" he said, for he caught them in the very act of whispering and nudging one another.
"Oh-Aslan, sir," said Digory, turning red, "I forgot to tell you. The Witch has already eaten one of those apples, one of the same kind that Tree grew from." He hadn?t really said all he was thinking, but Polly at once said it for him. (Digory was always much more afraid than she of looking a fool.)
"So we thought, Aslan," she said, "that there must be some mistake, and she can't really mind the smell of those apples."
"Why do you think that, Daughter of Eve?" asked the Lion.
"Well, she ate one."
"Child," he replied, "that is why all the rest are now a horror to her. That is what happens to those who pluck and eat fruits at the wrong time and in the wrong way. The fruit is good, but they loathe it ever after."
"Oh I see," said Polly. "And I suppose because she took it in the wrong way it won't work with her. I mean it won't make her always young and all that?"
"Alas," said Aslan, shaking his head. ?It will. Things always work according to their nature. She has won her heart's desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want: they do not always like it."
"I-I nearly ate one myself, Aslan," said Digory. "Would I ---"
"You would, child," said Aslan. "For the fruit always works-it must work-but it does not work happily for any who pluck it as their own will. If any Narnian, unbidden, had stolen an apple and planted it here to protect Narnia, it would have protected Narnia. But it would have done so by making Narnia into another strong and cruel empire like Charn, not the kindly land I mean it to be. And the Witch tempted you to do another thing, my son, did she not?"
"Yes, Aslan. She wanted me to take an apple home to Mother."
"Understand, then, that it would have healed her; but not to your joy or hers. The day would have come when both you and she would have looked back and said it would have been better to die in that illness."
And Digory could say nothing, for tears choked him and he gave up all hopes of saving his Mother's life; but at the same time he knew that the Lion knew what would have happened, and that there might be things more terrible even than losing someone you love by death. But now Aslan was speaking again:
"That is what would have happened, child, with a stolen apple. It is not what will happen now. What I give you now will bring joy. It will not, in your world, give endless life, but it will heal. Go. Pluck her an apple from the Tree."
C.S. Lewis. The Magician's Nephew. Pp. 173-175.
- posted by -g @ 5:20 PM | | 1 rocks in pond
I am so proud to see you finally properly citing your sources.
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